Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Developing new disease-resistant plant varieties

The tomato yellow curl leaf disease can be caused by numerous geminiviruses. Although there exist plant varieties resistant to the disease, screening for these is proving costly and time consuming.
Developing new disease-resistant plant varieties
A simple and cheap methodology is expected to improve current screening processes for plant varieties resistant to viral infection. The group behind the novel approach has produced a number of infectious virus clones, based on which it has produced controlled screening processes.

According to the method protocols, series of plants are inoculated with different types of infectious virus clones and are monitored for signs of viral infection and disease progression. The method can help isolate plant varieties resistant to viral infection in a cost-effective manner. This novel screening process can further aid the understanding of genetic control of resistance to the tomato yellow leaf curl disease.

The development of virus infectious clones and their diverse aggressiveness is the result of the group's extensive knowledge of the molecular and genetic biology of geminiviruses. The availability of these clones ensures the constant production of virus inoculums necessary for continuity in the screening processes for search of resistance to the tomato yellow leaf curl disease.

The time and cost savings associated with this method are expected to render it attractive to a number of agriculture/seed companies keen to invest further in ways to produce disease-resistant tomato plant strains. This screening approach can be adopted with diverse plant species facing threats from the same virus pathogen/s.
Record Number: 81791 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Biology, Medicine